The state government has defended its decision to tender a dredging project to Port Macquarie based Birdon Marine.
Birdon will build the $1.6 million dredger for the government, to carry out maintenance works on waterways.
The company was ordered to clean up the Hastings river last November, after it allegedly dumped thousands of tonnes of toxic waste on the banks of the river in 2006.
But the lands minister, Tony Kelly, says Birdon has a good track record.
“They won the tender in a competitive basis,” he said.
“I think they do have a great track record.
“I know they have got an issue with cleaning up that site, but that’s been handled obviously by DECCW.
“They do employ a number of people there, they do good work, and they were the successful tender.”
Mr Kelly says the transportable suction dredge will allow the government to carry out ongoing maintenance works along the coast, including a number of local projects.
“There are significant ones [projects] around Forster-Tuncurry, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour,” he said.
“There are a number of areas that do need constant dredging, and now we’ll have a dredge on call.”
“Because we’ve spent nearly six million dollars over the last five years on dredging, we thought it was appropriate to buy our own dredge.
“It will be a transportable dredge that will be able to go up and down the coast.”